When children reach 12 years old, they start to develop the desire to have their own money, but they are too young for legal employment with a company. There are many tasks a child can do to make extra money, and it is up to the parents to decide whether their child is capable of doing the task and to take responsibility if their child damages other people's property.
At 12 years old, many children have developed the skills and sense of responsibility necessary to take on a variety of tasks. A very common job for a 12-year-old is to baby-sit younger children. It is helpful if the first few jobs are short baby-sitting tasks that are close to home so that the baby sitter's parents are readily available if something should go wrong. It is also a good idea to not leave children who are too young with a 12-year-old baby sitter. Newborns and infants up to the age of 2 are probably too young for a pre-teen to handle and care for, but children older than 2 should be fine.
Another excellent neighborhood moneymaking task for a 12-year-old is lawn mowing. Help your child make up promotional fliers announcing his lawn-mowing services, and then have him hand them out to your neighbors. During the winter the lawn-mowing job could turn to snow shoveling.
Depending on how much extra money your child is looking to make, there is always the popular lemonade stand to help generate an income. A lemonade stand may not generate as much revenue as mowing lawns, but it can help your child gain an understanding of how to run a business and what is involved in managing money.
During the spring, summer and fall people spend a lot of money having their cars washed and waxed. Teach your 12-year-old how to properly wash and wax a car, and then she can use the skill to earn money.
Some 12-year-old children are very capable when it comes to repairing bicycles. There is a good chance that they have been modifying and repairing their own bicycles for many years, and now they can offer that as a paying service to people in the neighborhood.
Children are drawn to learning how to cook their favorite treats such as brownies and cookies. Teach your child to bake her favorite cookie or brownie, and then allow her to either have a bake sale in the front lawn or package the treats and sell them door to door in the neighborhood.